Ramble: A Post-Christmas Catch-Up

Gifts upwrapped by a christmas tree, white text on a black overlaid banner reads "Ramble: A Post-Christmas Catch-Up"

Now that the madness has calmed, a catch up after Christmas,

Good evening Twisties,

First, let me humbly apologise for not posting on Friday, despite my plans. I had great intentions and yet, with it being Christmas eve, I had no time to write. Instead, I had to abandon the blog for a few days and only hope that for the time bang, you would continue to enjoy my previous writes.

If you celebrate Christmas, then I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and were able to make the most of the festivities. Even if you don’t, then I at least hope that you are well, safe and happy.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my husband, my family and my father-in-law. We used to be a six, but since the passing of my father, they’re now my closest five. Mine are a mad bunch, if a little challenging at times. Mum is somewhat outspoken and unashamed since she’s reopened her love life – her black and sparkly ‘meet me under the mistletoe’ t-shirt was testament to that.

I woke just before 8am, leaving Matt in bed for another hour. For Christmas morning, it didn’t feel like a Christmas morning – the joys of getting old.

“Get outside more?” Matt read inquisitively from the label. I smiled.

“I’ll call him Alan!” he declared, holding the Newcastle United-dressed garden gnome up in the air. Sweet Lord, it’s been out of the box a mere five minutes and it’s already been given a name?!

We opened our ‘our’ presents in the morning, a sort of conscious decision given we sometimes buy gifts that are a little less suited to being opened in front of the family. No such thing this year, but still, it’s better safe than sorry.

For Christmas dinner with the family, I opted for my fluffy black glitter jumper, black smart trousers, some intensely glittery bronze eyeshadow and mauve lips, all finished off with some sparkly snowflake stud earrings. It was a surprisingly simple look, and yet it was also festive, sultry and sexy, I felt comfortable and put together for a change – happy.

Mum collected Matt and I at 1PM sharp, a sort of tradition over the years. She collects Matt’s Dad first and us after. From our flat, it’s a just a few turns onto the main road and smooth sailing all the way back home.

“By the way love, I think your advent calendar may go on until January second, I still have shit loads of stuff left” Matt said. Mum laughed.

“That, umm… might be because you did forget quite a few days” I admitted.

“You pain in the ass! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, because I didn’t want to seem like I was nagging” I replied. It’s my standard policy for personal relationships, one that promotes accountability.

Dinner was the typical Christmas dinner affair, served up with my brother’s delightful bacon-wrapped pork stuffing. It’s indulgent, but for that one meal of the year when you do indulge, it’s a treat that I sincerely look forward to.

“Where do we want to sit for gifts?” Mum asked. We negotiated for a bit, eventually deciding upon retiring back to the sitting area.

I received a number of ‘silly’ gifts this year – magnetic macro lenses for taking pictures of my shrimp with my camera phone and a Parma Violets room spray which smells so good, I want to eat it. The silver dog-themed ear studs that my mother thought I wouldn’t like I actually ended up loving and my new Thumper pyjamas are probably about to become my whole new way of living. Spoilt? Me? Maybe just a little bit!

“Leopard print?” I asked, running my fingers over the grey leopard print woollen coat that my brother had bought me. I liked the colour – grey had been a sort of softening on my love of wearing black – but leopard print? I’d never been one for animal prints.

I stood up and slipped on the long coat,watching as it dropped to below my knees. I’ll admit, I’m not a lover for long coats, I practically live in my bomber jacket.

“I… feel like maybe I shouldn’t be wearing so much underneath it? It sort of feels like the sort of thing that a woman might wear a lot less under” I joked, demonstrating how the panels gave all of me modesty. They didn’t really, because I secured the first visible button and moved to fasten the other buttons – there weren’t any.

“Only one button?”

They were gasps and groans of horror as everyone swarmed on me to find the other buttons. How could such a long coat have only one button. What kind of coat is that?

My brother himself decided that it wasn’t going to keep his big sister warm, and thus, it’s going back. His jar full of homemade cookie-dough centred shortbread cookies have usurped the coat, anyway.

“You always have to one-up me, don’t you, bro?” I laughed.

“It’s not about one-upmanship” he said matter-of-factly. “Sis, you did the cookie chip chocolates, so I thought…”

“But you know where I got the cookie chip chocolates idea from? ” I asked.

“Emmymade” he replied. Smart kid.

Presents swapped, we sat back at the dining table and introduced my father-in-law to my favourite card game, Newmarket. The way my family play is a little bit different – Kings are stakes, you place one token in the kitty and another one on your chosen stake, all other cards (minus the jokers) are played. I can’t stand poker, but I do love a game of Newmarket. While we played, I also enjoyed a generous double-double measure of my brother’s homemade blackberry whiskey, over ice. Me, a whiskey drinker, who’d have thought it?

We left Mum’s house about 8PM, but not without a vow to get together again for the new year. Provided Boris Johnson doesn’t announce any new restrictions, I’ll see in the New Year with the same crazy five people, playing the same fun games.

“Right, Mrs S, prepare to be advented the fuck out of” a rather drunk Matt warned as I finally sat back on our sofa. Against my warm, fatigued body, the cool black leather was comforting in an oh so familiar and not at all innocent way. I had a little smile to myself.

“Advented the fuck out of?” I laughed as I shook my head, “so couth”.

Within moments, a white carrier bag was hurled onto the sofa beside me. In it was four miniature bottles of Baileys, a box of Baileys caramel chocolates, a small bottle of Dove shower gel, two small marzipan chocolate and five – yes, five – bags of Bilar. I laughed out loud.

“Mr S! That’s enough Bilar to last a girl a lifetime!”

“Well good!” he replied. Seconds later, Matt had passed out on the bed.

“Thank you for ‘adventing the fuck’ out of me last night” I said as I leaned up on my elbows this morning. My tone was soft, sultry and full of not very subtle implication.

“You’re very welcome” he smirked back, “how was it for you?”

I cocked my head and matched his smile. Oh, so he wants to play?

“Intense,” I replied, stretching next to him and holding his gaze. “I needed a blanket and a nap afterwards” I added. He laughed.

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